A collection of event producers, suppliers and business owners have joined forces to launch Save NSW Events, an independent group lobbying for targeted financial support for the New South Wales events industry.
It follows the successful lobbying activity of a similar group south of the border, Save Victorian Events, which recently gained the attention of Labor MP Bill Shorten.
Leading the group is Paul Keating, general manager at Audio Visual Events, who says urgent financial support is critical to save businesses and livelihoods, as the JobKeeper deadline looms.
“The whole industry is suffering from the stops and starts caused by border closures and the resulting lack of business confidence,” he told Spice News.
“I’m talking to experienced producers who haven’t done an event in a year. I know freelancers who’ve left the industry, people who’ve sold assets from their business, people who have sold their homes to try and help their company survive.”
Save NSW Events is asking event professionals and owners to complete an impact survey, which will provide current data on the state of the industry to present to the state government.
“We need current data showing how bad the situation is and that needs to be fed to government and shared amongst the industry so everyone can see what’s going on,” said Keating.
He says the industry has proven it can adapt, but unexpected border closures are crushing business confidence.
“We’ve already pivoted as hard as we can,” he said.
“The border closures and the impact on business confidence is out of our hands. The government needs to do something to support industries that are suffering: tourism, hospitality, the arts and events.
“The industries aren’t failing, the industries are very strong, but they just won’t survive without government help.”
Keating urges anyone who works in events or owns an event-related business to complete the survey.
“We’ve got to remember the human cost of this industry not getting support,” he said.
“People need to act, they can’t leave it to someone else anymore.
“We all need to find our voice and get the information out.”